Eye-witnesses speak after woman falls off Gunwharf Quays balcony

FALL The building in Gunwharf where a woman fell to her death.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves (114528-1)
FALL The building in Gunwharf where a woman fell to her death. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (114528-1)
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A WOMAN died after falling from a flat at Gunwharf Quays on New Year’s Eve.

The 48-year-old fell from a balcony at Anson Court, a private residential complex, above the luggage shop Antler.

Shocked eyewitnesses described seeing the woman lying on the ground as police and paramedics attended to her at 10.51pm on New Year’s Eve.

She was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham but was pronounced dead at 1.22am the next day.

Police yesterday named the woman as Deborah Nash, of Shaftesbury Road, Southsea.

Officers say there were no suspicious circumstances.

Alan Smith, spokesman for Hampshire Police, said: ‘Police investigating the death of a Portsmouth woman are not treating her death as suspicious.

‘Officers were called to Canalside Buildings in Gunwharf Quays at 10.51pm after it was reported that a woman had fallen from a balcony.

‘The woman had suffered head injuries in the fall and was taken to the Queen Alexandra Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 1.22am.’

He said the next of kin have been informed.

Police were unable to confirm whether the woman was attending a New Year’s Eve party.

Officers will now investigate on behalf of the coroner.

An inquest will take place to determine exactly what happened.

Jamie White, 26, and his girlfriend Hannah Cook, were eating a meal in nearby Cafe Rouge when the incident happened.

Jamie, who lives on the Isle of Wight, said: ‘Just before 11pm my girlfriend and I saw security guards running towards where it happened and we presumed it was a fight.

‘A couple of minutes later I went outside and saw the woman lying on the ground.

‘Paramedics and police were on the scene moments later.

‘I asked what had happened and got told she fell from a balcony.

‘More police and paramedics arrived and the area was cordoned off.’

A neighbour at Anson Court, who did not want to be named, said: ‘We opened the door, saw the woman laying on the floor.

‘Someone said she had either fallen or jumped from one of the floors.

‘It’s awful.’

Peter Emery, centre director at Gunwharf Quays, said: ‘It’s very tragic.’

People at Gunwharf Quays spoke of their shock to the tragedy.

Calista Efthimiou, 21, a shop worker, said: ‘It’s a bit of a shock, the fact that it was New Year’s Eve.’